Italy has been performing great, will Wales put a halt to their winning streak?
Group A has already offered brilliant highlights and an amazing football story to follow. Italy has been praised for their fluid attacking style, and we are certainly amazed by their exceptional midfielders. Manuel Locatelli was the story of the night against Switzerland. His 2 goals rounded up another nice performance from Sassuolo’s player. He wasn’t first on any category that we examined but certainly was the difference-maker. Italian midfielders look like Europe’s best football engine and if you haven’t watched them play, we urge you to do it immediately.
Jorginho helped his team control the middle of the field (67/71 passes) and distributed the ball to forward positions (8 passes to the final third), creating many dangerous situations. He received the ball 66 times and touched it 80 in total as he is well trusted by his teammates to recycle possession. He functioned as a creative player that covers deep positions having Italy’s most carries (59). Together with Locatelli and Nicolò Barella (2 tackles, 1 assist), Italy’s midfield trio coordinated the phases of play magnificently and had a huge impact on the game.
Wales had an excellent game against Turkey, scored two goals (2.9 xG), created plenty of chances, and looked very confident when attacking the ball. They could have finished the game with more goals if Gareth Bale had aimed better from the 11 meters. Welsh fans should be proud of their team’s performance, and we look forward to finding out how they will do against a better opponent like Italy.
Aaron Ramsey (1 goal) and Bale (2 assists), were Wales’ best players of the game playing amazing football. Ramsey was first in carries (41), shots on target (3/4), and second in successful dribbles (3/4). Bale was first in successful dribbles (4/5), key passes (5), and progressive passes (9). Daniel James was a menace to Turkey’s left wing-back, forcing their coach to substitute him. He had 3 successful dribbles, only 1 shot on target, and just 22 carries. Nevertheless, he was a constant thorn in Turkey’s left side and had a good overall game.
Both teams will qualify with a draw (24% probabilities) and we certainly believe that they would like to rest some players for the round of 16. There is a chance that they will both opt for a low rhythm in the game. Italy has impressed with their creativity and finishing prowess but we believe that this game will be more about organized defending, restricting, and protecting space. Mancini’s men will enter the game with great confidence but can they continue their impressive unbeaten record of 29 games? Although they are the favorite to win (64% chances), Wales is a worthy and formidable opponent.